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Attenuators and signal degredation

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by sounddog, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I've got a Rotel RA1060 and Arcam DV88 which I'm using for CDs via it's analogue output.

    My problem is that at the levels I want to listen at usually, the volume on the Rotel is so low that I have little or no fine control over the level ... it seams that when I'm using other sources (front channels of my AV amp) and the control is nearer the 12 o'clock position there is a lot finer control avaliable.

    I've been considering buying a pair of in-line attenuators (either 9dB or 12dB) from Keene Electronics but if I use these ... will they (dramatically) degrade the signal (other than lowering it which is of course the whole aim)?


    Any experience of these (or recomendations of other sources of similar attenuators) would be greatfully recieved.


    Thanks
    Victoria
     
  2. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Rockwell make the best attenuator I know

    Russ Andrews do Kimber cable with these built in

    I didn't know Keene did these, make sure they are not aerial attenuators ;)
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The best attenuator I've ever found(and I do have one)is the Audio Synthesis Passion...it's a stepped attenuator,basically a passive pre-amp,using Vishay resistors.

    In my own experience and that of any reviewer who's used it,it's as good as most £5k plus active preamps...but it does cost £500,so most will choke on the cost....some are available secondhand.

    I use mine sometimes to run CD straight into the power amps and bypass my Tag.....it does sound better,but a bit of a pain with the wires!:cool:
     
  4. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Did know we were talking pre amps here :blush:

    As another Audio Synthesis passive pre amp owner I can vouch for their exceptional quality, don't like high C cables though
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Absolutely true,Beekeeper,but since the topic was attenuators.....well close enough anyway,and also agree with what you say about high C cables.....use Kimber and XLO here.

    The Passion would also leave most preamps for dead on sound quality,especially when you use it to bypass the active pre and run the CD straight into the power amps.:cool:
     
  6. sounddog

    sounddog
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    No ... the Keene ones arn't aerial attenuators ... definately audio ones.

    Sorry if this is a daft question ... but who is Russ Andrews?


    Victoria
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    controversial but has some GREAT kit inc Kimber cables.
    His basic stuff is the best IMHO


    www.russandrews.com
     
  8. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Also use Kimber here,Beekeeper,and agree his cheap stuff is the best value,but the more expensive stuff has amazing sound quality.
    :)
     
  9. GaryG

    GaryG
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    I'm so pleased you posted this, you are likely to see it crop up from time-to-time as I quote you to the people who think Tag is the 'be-all-and-end-all' of all things AV. Maybe Ferrari should start making AV gear and give them a walloping at that as well.:D
     
  10. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Thanks Gary!....as you can see,I do have an AV32R and I am very pleased with it.
    The thing is that the Tag is designed to one job(AV processing)and does it very well indeed....the AS passive preamp is designed to do another,and does so with amazing clarity...at least the equal of £5k plus active preamps(and not AV preamps here)....it's just like stripping away layers of masking due to digital processing...what you put into it,comes out,just attenuated to the level you want.
    The only problem comes with long cable runs,or a CD player/DAC with weedy output stages...if you have either(or both) of these,the results wont be too hot.
     
  11. GaryG

    GaryG
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    Couldn't agree more. Unfortunatley the TAG brand has reached 'cult' status and is assumed to be great at everything, which clearly it is not, I'm not knocking Tag by the way.
     
  12. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Again,I agree,Gary......cult staus is all very well,but it doesn't mean a piece of equipment does everything equally well....bit like the status of Lexicon and others as well.....bet that will get a few people going also! :p
     

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